While global economies are recovering, the global labor market is at a stubbornly elevated unemployment rate, reveals the International Labour Organization (ILO) in a recent report.
An alarming number of 205 million people continued to be unemployed in 2010, meaning 6.2% of the world’s active population. Youth unemployment (aged 15–24) slightly decreased from 79.6 million in 2009 to 77.7 million in 2010, however representing 12.6%.
The vulnerability of the labor markets increased in the past year. On the basis of available data, the current estimate of the number of workers in vulnerable employment in 2009 is 1.53 billion, which corresponds to a global vulnerable employment rate of no less than 50.1%. The labour markets of the Developed Economies and the European Union, in particular, are facing a rapid growth of part-time employment, high youth unemployment rates and slow job creation levels.
Importantly, in both developed and developing countries, unemployment carries high “human costs”. Typically, workers who have been laid off suffer from reduced employability, as their skills erode and the stigma associated with unemployment may grow along with the duration of unemployment. Workers often receive lower lifetime earnings, with the effects particularly severe for youth. Adverse effects on workers’ physical and mental health commonly ensue, with increased strain on families. This can have adverse intergenerational effects, with children’s schooling achievement suffering, reducing their productive potential.
The ILO Global Employment Trends 2011 report can be downloaded here.